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Photo courtesy of a.drian on Flickr

Goliad school district officials decided to cancel classes Friday because of the high volume of students out sick.

About 30% of students at Goliad High School are out sick, district assistant superintendent Chris Ulcak said. He said the decision to close before the weeklong Thanksgiving holiday wasn’t easy.

“We’re seeing an increase in the illness at both other schools,” he explained.

He said students filled the nurses’ offices and the district decided to close to avoid the spread of illness. The high school has about 400 students.

“It’s just difficult to keep ahead of the flu,” Ulcak said.

The schools try to stay ahead of the spread by disinfecting surfaces and keeping hand sanitizer available, Ulcak said.

Classes will reconvene Dec. 2 after Thanksgiving.

“This is not something we look forward to at all,” Ulcak said. “At a certain point, you have too many sick kids, and it’s just better to send them home.”

Delilah Perez, Victoria County Public Health Department‘s assistant director of health, said the most common strain of flu currently is influenza B.

“This little increase we see is what we expected for this time of year,” she said. “There have been no big outbreaks.”

Flu symptoms include cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, body aches and headaches. Perez said these symptoms mirror other illnesses like the common cold and bronchitis, so she recommends going to a doctor when these symptoms appear.

Perez said the flu shot is still available and medicine will help when symptoms appear.

“The quicker you start it, the better off you’ll be,” she said.

Samantha Douty is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from UT-Arlington with a bachelor's in journalism.

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